Protecting Snakes Is Beneficial, Say Conservationists

Sankes play an integral role in maintaining a balance in the ecosystem and have been worshipped by Hindus for a long time. However, they are treated as enemies and killed at first sight.
Nevertheless, there is a rise in the trend of conserving snakes with their safe rescue rather than killing them. Many Nepalis have been involved in rescuing snakes and leaving them in forests recently; Shyam Kumar Pradhan and Birendra Tiwari are two of them.
Pradhan and Tiwari are the residents from Ward 5 and Ward 11 of Arjundhara Municipality respectively. Pradhan has been rescuing snakes for the past four years and Tiwari for last two.
They have rescued hundreds of snakes from houses and localities but never touch the ones in nature like rivers, forests, and fields. They receive calls from across Jhapa district asking them to come and rescue the snakes. The duo then reach the site regardless of day or night.
“Snakes are there for the benefit of humans but they have been perceived as enemies leading to the human-snake conflict. Snakes are innocent hence they should be protected,” said Pradhan.
The duo hasn’t been associated with any organisation and have been rescuing snakes out of their personal interest.
“Our society has been killing snakes for a long time due to lack of proper awareness. It is difficult to raise awareness singly due to which concerned authorities must intensify conservation plans and policies,” said Tiwari.
The snake conservationists also informed that only four per cent of the snakes in Nepal are poisonous.
“If we could conserve snakes properly we could reap many benefits. The venoms of snakes can also be used to produce anti-venom and different medicines including for breast cancer,” said Pradhan.
Pradhan further informed that snakes kill around 27 per cent of insects in their area; the insects pose risk to crops. “There is a need to make people understand that we need to coexist with snakes and conserve the reptiles.”
Pradhan recently released five cobras and a 20-feet long baby python, which were rescued from different places and kept in his house, into the wild.
“When we rescue snakes from some difficult areas, they might get injured. We keep the injured snakes at home for some days and release them into the wild after some treatment,” Pradhan added.

Source : TRN,